Cognitive Biases: Part 1 – Falling Off the Ladder of Inference

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman and Under Much Grace used with permission. Well, we don't actually fall off of it. We just don't climb it very gracefully, and don't end up where we'd like. Before diving into additional cognitive biases, let's take a look at how we can put them into perspective by considering the Ladder of Inference. (We named the Hindsight Bias as our first in the CranioRectal Inversion (CRI) that results from falling into their trappings. Honestly, I intended no pun when I wrote that post and created the image!) Think of the Ladder as a section in the toolbox for cultivating safety in recovery from trauma, and … [Read more...]

10 Red Flags About Christian Celebrities and Ministries

Taken from the comments and written by one of NLQ's commenters Abigail Smith on Samantha Field's The Smell Test: 5 Signs of a Toxic ChurchI formulated these “10 Red Flags” about “Christian" celebrities and ministries during my escape from QF over the last few years1) Unbalanced- you just sense something is wrong but it sounds good and holy and everything is “backed up” with scripture verses (antidote: the gospel is so simple that even children can understand it) … [Read more...]

Churches That Abuse: Part 1 Why Good People Do Bad Things and why Bad People Do Bad Things

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserChurches attract all kinds of people with varying motivations for being a part of a particular religion. I spent fifty years in the Independent Baptist/Non-Denominational/Evangelical church. When it comes to other religions, I only know what I read in the media. The experiences and observations I share in this post come from the fifty years I spent in those churches, first as a parishioner, and later as a pastor. I spent twenty-five years in the pastorate, pastoring churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. … [Read more...]

Positive Affirmations and Manifesting

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am PhoenixLife has changed so much for me the last several months. I honestly am still pinching myself. I got myself out of a living situation that was not conducive to healing, as well as a location that was physically not the best for my health. I'm living in Florida now, which has been my dream for quite some time... I'm finally free of the cold NY and PA winters. I'm surrounded by a totally new set of people... no one in my life now knew me before, and no one from my past contacts me now except two sisters. There is a possibility that I can work again in the future, get my career back. My physical health has been coming back to me faster than I im … [Read more...]

Do Tell!

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI receive many messages thanking me for sharing my story of spiritual abuse via this blog.  People ask if they may use what I have written in their book project, as part of a spiritual abuse presentation or seminar.  People applaud my “courage” and often express their personal fear that, were they to tell their own story, they would suffer serious consequences.The desire to tell their story is framed in several ways.  Some know that telling will help them to heal.  Some want to warn others, or, at the very least, open the eyes of those who cannot see.  They hope that by telling, their friends, family members, church comrades, even … [Read more...]

Finding the Strength to Give Yourself Permission to Leave

by Suzanne Titkemeyer cross posted from her blog Every Breaking WaveI remember the last two years before I walked away from my old church. Every Saturday night or early Sunday morning I would have a nightmare involving church. They always involved church. It might be something like the pastor calling me out for some imagined sin from the pulpit and he and I fighting in the sanctuary. One time I dreamed that my home was filled with an abundance, a crazy wild abundance of things, like opening the bread box to have three fresh loaves leaping out instead of one, or opening the silverware drawer and finding set after set of silver in the drawer. That dream was terrifying because I was … [Read more...]

The Not-So-Ridiculous Reasons People Leave Church

by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Samantha P FieldEvery once in a while, someone I know on Facebook will share a joke or a meme that makes me grit my teeth because it makes me feel dismissed. Most recently it was this one: … [Read more...]

Differentiating Between ‘Cult’, ‘Cultic’ and ‘Spiritual Abuse’

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much GraceWhat is the difference between "cult" and "cultic?" (Sociologically Speaking) It’s a matter of degree. Defining terms is vital.Concerning things "cultic" versus a "cult." If you’re the average guy (or gal) sitting in a church or a concerned significant other of someone in a group, the first thing you generally notice is that something bothers you about the group. This realization is true of any subtle deception or of insidious problems such as something wrong with your car. You hear an unfamiliar noise and the right side of your brain become sensitized and unconsiously starts putting things together (as a built in defense mechanism). … [Read more...]

How Fundamentalism Cultivates the ‘Inner Me’ and a Mistrust For Others

by Lana Hope cross posted from her blog Wide Open GroundA few weeks ago, Darcy challenged the notion that we should use God to justify our choices. It has really stuck with me. She explains, The me of today doesn’t believe I need to use God to justify my choices.I’ve done that my whole life….used scripture and God and “God’s will” to make decisions and defend them to everyone who thought I was wrong or had an opinion about me. And no matter what the choice was or how well I defended it “from scripture” someone always thought it was wrong. Because they too could defend their belief about my wrongness from scripture. … [Read more...]

Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI recently received a message on the Facebook page for When Church Hurts in which the writer asked if they should leave a church if no one cares whether or not they come back because they are seen as not contributing enough. The writer didn’t define what they meant by “contribute,” but it could mean any number of things – not enough money, time, energy, attendance, spiritual depth, etc. … [Read more...]